Father, son create art from glass at Ferguson's Gallery & Studio

MARBLEHEAD Cary Ferguson Sr. and his son, Cary Jr., almost seem like one person. The father and son
May 24, 2010



Cary Ferguson Sr. and his son, Cary Jr., almost seem like one person. The father and son team rarely talk while they work, and yet they seem to effortlessly blend theirtalents while shaping molten glass into works of art.

Cary Sr., 50, opened Ferguson's Gallery & Studio 10 years ago, and -- until a year and a half ago -- created glass vases and crystal decorations by himself.

"It's always a father's dream for one of his kids to follow in hisfootsteps," Cary Sr. said.

Though Cary Jr., 22, had grown up watching his father create crystal vases, bowls and decorative pieces, he did not take an interest untilcollege.

"I took a fine arts class, and I really got into it," Cary Jr. said. "That's when I started being able to appreciate the fine arts. To think that we can make a statement with our glass... that would be incredible."

After his son's passion for glass art grew, Cary Sr. took a gamble and invested $250,000 to build a 1,500-square-foot glass blowing studio.

The studio now serves as theFergusons' workshop, where they use metal rods, a vat of molten glass and a heating oven to create glass art.

Cary Sr., a master glass cutter, has worked about 33 years creating a variety of glass pieces.

"It's a pretty seductive material," Cary Sr. said. "It's beautiful when done right. The colors and shapes are fascinating."

In the beginning, Cary Jr., a novice glassblower, said their partnership was rough, but eventually smoothed out.

"There were a lot of tough days, but as soon as we realized our potential as a team -- we knew we could do it," Cary Jr. said.

Father and son have recently begun work on "face vases," which are essentially glass vases with facial expressions on them, using colored glass.

Cary Jr. typically shapes the glass by puffing air via a long metal rod to create an air bubble. While his son heats and shapes the main piece, Cary Sr. adds colored glass to the piece all while working in front of a blinding-hot oven.

The entire piece takes about an hour to complete and costs about $500.

Cary Jr. said that his experience has allowed him to grow as an artist and he plans to continue working with his father far into the future.

"We create the process well together," Cary Jr. said. "This is Ferguson art glass, and I don't ever plan on leaving this atmosphere."

Cary Sr. said he appreciates the bonding time he has with his son.

"The two of us together, we make some really unique work," Cary Sr. said. "It's really neat to know that the work is going to live on through him."

Store/Studio info

What - Ferguson's Gallery & Studio

Where - 5890 E. Harbor Road, Marblehead

Gallery hours - 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday

Studio hours - 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday through Sunday

Phone - 419-734-0600